Somalia National Army backed by African Union peacekeepers has begun preparations for an assault to retake several villages in Middle Shabelle region.
The allied forces (Somalia army and AMISOM) are approaching several villages including Biyo-Adde and Mirtuugo localities which lay 75 km north east of Jowhar town.
The two villages are said to have been under the controlled of Al-Shabaab fighters for the last seven years.
SNA officer who sought anonymity said that government troops along with AMISOM are planning to flush Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militants out of the two villages in forthcoming hours.
“We are planning to drive the militants out of the villages in the coming hours. The government soldiers and AMISOM troops are to launch military offensives against the Al-Shabaab held areas” he said.
In recent years, Somali and AMISOM forces have pushed Al-Shabaab fighters out of major cities, but the group has continued to launch attacks on the government and other targets.
The group still controls large swathes of territory in rural areas.